Orange & Polenta Cake with Clove Caramel

When I saw this cake on Spice Trip on SBS last week I knew I just had to try it. It combines so many of my loves; citrus, spice, polenta and sweetness! Plus it's really low in gluten, with only 30gms of wheat flour in the whole thing. As I am writing this, the cake is still in the oven and the lovely heady scent of oranges and cloves is wafting through my house, it smells like Christmas! Anyway, here is the recipe, I made a couple of small tweaks to the original recipe, which can also be found on the Channel 4 website by clicking here. The cake is really light and has a little bit of a bitter edge to it, but the clove caramel takes the edge off it. If you find it too bitter, try it with Greek yoghurt or fresh cream, it is wonderful. It's a lot easier and quicker to make than it sounds, as long as you're organised in the kitchen. Enjoy! 

Anyway, here is the recipe, I made a couple of small tweaks to the original recipe, which can also be found on the Channel 4 website by clicking here.

The cake is really light and has a little bit of a bitter edge to it, but the clove caramel takes the edge off it. If you find it too bitter, try it with Greek yoghurt or fresh cream, it is wonderful. It's a lot easier and quicker to make than it sounds, as long as you're organised in the kitchen. Enjoy! 

Ingredients

Cake
5 oranges: peel 2 and slice thinly; chop 2 up roughly (leave the skin on) ; juice 1
120g unsalted butter, at room temp (this is really important as it won't cream if too hard)
180g caster sugar
3 large eggs
2/3 tbsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking powder
30g plain flour
140g polenta
120g ground almonds
Creme fraiche or natural yoghurt, to serve

Caramel
100g caster sugar
The orange juice you squeezed at the beginning. 
1/3 tbsp ground cloves

Method
1.Preheat oven to 180c
2. Put the chopped oranges into a saucepan with just enough water to cover, and boil for 20 minutes.
3. Butter a spring tin and line with grease proof paper. Do not skip this step.
4. Lay the orange slices out in a pretty pattern in the base of the tin, starting from the middle
5. Sift the flour and add polenta, baking powder, ground almonds and cloves to the bowl
6. Cream the butter and sugar in a separate bowl, using a wooden spoon or electric beaters.   You know it's ready when the sugar has dissolved and the colour has lightened. 
7. By now the oranges should be finished boiling, drain and leave them to cool slightly.
8. Gently mix in the eggs to the butter and sugar, one at a time. 
9. Blend the boiled oranges in a blender or chop them really finely.
10. Mix in the blended oranges, then fold in the dry ingredients. 
11. Pour mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes then turn out so that the oranges are on the top. 
To make the caramel
12. Heat the 100g of caster sugar and orange juice in a heavy -based pan, until sugar dissolves and the liquid has thickened. Take it off the heat just as the colour starts to change to golden brown, and stir in the cloves. It should be like runny honey so that you can pour it, if it's too thick, add some of the orange water you saved from the boiled oranges. 
13. Drizzle over the top of the cake very gently and slowly so that it seeps between the oranges slices and soaks into the cake.
14. Serve with creme fraiche or yoghurt and enjoy!